Dr Know It All can answer any of your questions. He just happens to know everything. Dr Know It All selects a few letters from readers to answer each week. Readers should feel free to mail the doctor a question at the Town Crier ([email protected]). The doctor remains anonymous.


Dear Dr Know It All:
I feel socially pressured to change from a flippy phone (that can be replaced for $3 on eBay) to a smart phone (that can be replaced for $200 from a major company). Should I change? Why or why not?

What to do? Be ostracized or go broke. Be clueless or be trendy. 

Another matter to consider: Are you actually intelligent enough to take advantage of a “smarty?” We’ll assume so. Back to the “flippy.” Aside from stylishly flicking open the cover with your designer-painted thumb nails, which I count as a plus, do you still have to punch 37 numbers to spell out the word “Hi?” Definitely a negative. 

For the $200, plus lifetime contract, you could save the money and hire an assistant to text all your messages on the $3 “flippy.”

Whatever you decide, save the “flippy.” It’ll be worth at least $200 on the vintage market in 50 years.


Dear Dr Know It All:
So if you think you know it all, then explain to me why some clocks use the Roman numerals IV to indicate 4 o’clock and other clocks use the numerals IIII to mean the same thing. Big Ben’s clock has an IV, but the clock at Jefferson’s Monticello uses IIII for 4 o’clock. Everyone knows that IV is the only correct Roman numeral for four. What’s your answer?

Everyone since Andre Agassi has known that image is everything. But, I’m not saying that Thomas Jefferson was more image conscious than Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, whom I’m sure you know designed London’s Big Ben clock tower. 

  I can’t speak for Tom, but there are several possible reasons behind his “fourtunate” (couldn’t help it) style choice for his clock numbers. First, that it provided an arguably better visual balance on the clock face (that “image” thing). Second, because “IIII” is actually how the Romans originally wrote the number four. The practice of using the subtractive forms of IV for four and IX for nine did not develop until about 1300 AD.

(See? Dr Know It All is not just a pretty face.)


Dear Dr Know It All:
I am full of love and want to give all that I have to everyone and anyone. Love is all you need. I am a love child and want to give love to the world. I’d do anything for love.  What should I do?

Call me.


Dear Dr Know It All:
I am empty and depleted of life.  I don’t know anyone and no one knows me.  I’m like a vacant lot that no one wants to buy. Can you help me?

Sure. Call Christina